Category Archive: Global Macro

Crisis of Meaning = Crisis of Work

Allow me to connect two apparently unconnected dots. Dot #1: The last sugar plantation in Hawaii is closing down, ending more than a century of plantation life in the 50th state.

When Assets (Such as Real Estate) Become Liabilities

It will be the middle class that accepted the notion that "real estate is the foundation of family wealth" that will be stripmined by higher taxes on immobile assets such as real estate.

Emerging Market Preview for the Week Ahead

EM gained some limited traction as last week ended. However, renewed concerns about China could limit this bounce as President Xi signaled the possibility that growth could fall below the government’s 6.5% target.

The Washington Post: Useful-Idiot Shills for a Failed, Frantic Status Quo That Has Lost Control of the Narrative

Don't you think it fair and reasonable that anyone accusing me of being a shill for Russian propaganda ought to read my ten books in their entirety and identify the sections that support their slanderous accusation?

The Burrito Index: Consumer Prices Have Soared 160 percent Since 2001

In our household, we measure inflation with the Burrito Index: How much has the cost of a regular burrito at our favorite taco truck gone up? Since we keep detailed records of expenses (a necessity if you’re a self-employed free-lance writer).

Emerging Markets: What has Changed

China President Xi raised the possibility of sub-6.5% growth. Fitch moved the outlook on Indonesia’s BBB- rating from stable to positive. The Philippine central bank raised its 2017 inflation forecasts for 2017 and 2018.

The Disaster of Inflation-For the Bottom 95 percent

Central banks are obsessed with boosting inflation, but the "why inflation is good" arguments make no sense for households being ravaged by inflation. The basic argument is that inflation makes it easier for debtors to service their debts.

Modi’s Fantastic Promises

This article continues right where Part VI left off (for earlier updates on the demonetization saga see Part-I, Part-II, Part-III, Part-IV, and Part-V). There is still huge support for Modi even among the poor. A big carrot is dangled before them,...

Why the Massive Expansion of “Money” Hasn’t Trickled Down to “The Rest of Us”

There are numerous debates about money: what it is, how we measure it, and so on. In recognition of these debates, I'm referring to "money" in quotes to designate that I'm using the Federal Reserve's measure of money stock (MZM). Nowadays, "money" is...

What Have the “Experts” Gotten Right? In the Real Economy, They’re 0 for 5

If the "experts" were assessed on results, they'd all be fired. The mainstream media continually hypes the authority of "experts," i.e. people with a stack of credentials from top institutions. But does the mainstream media ever check on whether the...

Are You a Deplorable? Take This Quiz to Find Out

Regardless of your ethnicity, class or religion, if you perceive the institutions that govern American life as corrupted, riddled with favoritism and spin or as broken, you're a Deplorable. Are you a Deplorable? The answer might surprise you. Take this...

Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

EM ended the weak on a soft note, as the hawkish Fed decision continued to have reverberations for global markets. Worst performers in EM last week were CLP (-3.3%), ZAR (-2%), and KRW (-1.5%). With little fundamental news expected this week, markets...

Is the Deep State at War–With Itself?

The recent pronouncement by the C.I.A. that Russian hackers intervened in the U.S. presidential election doesn't pass the sniff test--on multiple levels. Let's consider the story on the most basic levels.

Why the Democrats Can’t Let Go of Losing

The Democratic Party has become everything it once was against. The Democratic Party has become everything that it once loathed: elitist, globalist, interventionist, self-serving, warmongering and overflowing with hubris.

Emerging Markets: What has Changed?

China will raise the sales tax on small cars to 7.5% in 2017. New methodology used by Turkstat to measure Turkish GDP has led to significant upward revisions. Turkish authorities are growing more concerned about the weak lira. Fitch moved the outlook...

Recovering America’s History of Progressive Populism

The elites' toadies, lackeys, shills, sycophants, water-carriers and apologists are desperately hyping the context-free, historically ignorant narrative that "populism leads to autocracy" to protect the existing autocracy of the elites.

Rich Middle Class, Poor Middle Class

This great generational injustice is the direct consequence of central banks lowering interest rates to zero and inflating asset bubbles. How can middle class households have similar incomes but some are asset-rich and others are asset-poor?

“Fake News”, Censorship, Darwin and Democracy

Perhaps we can start by separating "news" from "analysis" from "commentary." "News" is "he said this, she did that, this happened." Analysis tries to make sense of trends that are apparent in the news longer-term--for example, why did Trump win? Is the...

From Captive Audience to Open Democracy: Why the Mainstream Media Is Freaking Out

In its panicky rush to demonize the independent media via baseless accusations of "fake news," the mainstream press has sunk to spewing "fake news" of its own. Here's The Washington Post's criminally false "fake news" article in case you missed it:...

Emerging Markets: Week Ahead Preview

After the ECB meeting, we saw curve steepening in the eurozone. This is on top of curve steepening in the US since the elections. While we are nowhere near the magnitude of the 2013 Taper Tantrum, these yield curve dynamics remain negative for EM bonds...